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#1 2014-08-06 08:18:32

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1776
Website

sloosh

We have from time to time had discussions (e.g. here )
about sound-symbolic or phonaesthetic elements, sub-morphemes which may or may not have universal or language-specific meanings attached to them, making them the/a “natural” way to express those meanings. With that background
.
Yesterday I caught myself using the word slooshing . I was not, and am not now, aware of having heard (much less seen) or used it myself before now. Yet it seemed like the perfect, if not the only, way to say the meaning I had in mind.
.
I have a short quiz for you all. (Don’t cheat and look at the internet: there are uses and even definitions out there.)
.
(1) Is this (some form of sloosh ) an established word for you? If so, what (different things?) does it mean?
.
(2) If this is a new word to you, what would you think, or guess, it means?
.
(3) Among the possible English words of form sl-V-sh the following are established for me (in order of decreasing firmness): slash, slush, slosh, slish(y) . Do any of you have another one established? (e.g. slesh, sleesh, slaysh, sliesh, sloash, slorsh, sloysh … ? What does it mean? Do any of them sound more (im)possible than others to you?


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#2 2014-08-06 10:18:58

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 827

Re: sloosh

1. I would use this, though informally, to mean rinse or irrigate – I’d sloosh mouthwash, for example, around the crannies of the gob, or sloosh water on a drive or yard to wash something away. Slosh is the single event perhaps, whereas sloosh is more continuous somehow.

3. Slush and slosh are wet words – the latter as sloshed meaning ‘pissed’ in the BrEnglish sense of drunk. Speaking of piss – not in that sense – in the absence of knives and razors slash is a common word for the act of urination – another wet word. The other vowel variants just seem like folk with funny accents trying to say any of the meaningful ones we’re discussing.

Sluice is clearly wet. Salacious seems so too. Best stop now. Been here before.

Last edited by Peter Forster (2014-08-06 10:19:56)

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#3 2014-08-06 13:46:29

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2146

Re: sloosh

Without looking up the word meanings …

My impression is that the folksy “sloosh” is a way of pronouncing “sluice,” meaning to rinse, usually by trapping and agitating water. A slosh is a single frame of the slooshing movie that has been figuratively repurposed (i.e., “sloshed” can mean “drunk”). “Slush” is a snow/ice word with onomatopoetic foundations. “Slash” doesn’t feel wet or dry—just means to cut with a firm stroke.

My wordhord also has a couple of shVsh words: Sheesh” is an interjection expresses surprise/frustration and is perhaps a euphemism for the German “Sheisse.” As a noun it is a shortened form of “baksheesh,” tip. “Shush” is to make someone quiet, perhaps a blend of “shh” and “hush.”

Last edited by kem (2014-08-06 13:47:02)

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#4 2014-08-06 15:55:08

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 946

Re: sloosh

1) I doubt that it’s in a dictionary, though I wouldn’t bat an eye if I heard someone use it or if it came out of my own mouth.

2) I’d put my money on a loose slosh, with possible involvement of a sluice.

3) It’s not English, but I do love slutch (my spelling) and sloche (the QC spelling) of the québecois word for slush. Also used for the drink we might call a slushy, infamous here for its grotesque and horrifying antiadvertising.

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#5 2014-08-06 19:16:42

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: sloosh

Forget about “sloosh”; I wanna hear about “floosh”!

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#6 2014-08-06 23:11:03

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1776
Website

Re: sloosh

I would expect it (floosh) to mean the same sort of thing as Tetelcingo Nahuatl kʷitla-kīsa , literally ‘excrement-emerge’ but overall meaning ‘come gushing out’. But I don’t know or use it myself (that I remember). It also shows up on the Internet, with definitions in the Urban Dictionary. (Which you likely also know, Dixon, thus justifying or at least excusing your exclamation point.)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#7 2014-08-07 05:03:35

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: sloosh

DavidTuggy wrote:

(1) Is this (some form of sloosh ) an established word for you?

Nope.

(2) If this is a new word to you, what would you think, or guess, it means?

I’d imagine it’d be an onomatopoeic reference to some liquid gushing down some sort of sluice or flume.

(3) Among the possible English words of form sl-V-sh the following are established for me (in order of decreasing firmness): slash, slush, slosh, slish(y) . Do any of you have another one established? (e.g. slesh, sleesh, slaysh, sliesh, sloash, slorsh, sloysh … ?

Not me.

Do any of them sound more (im)possible than others to you?

The last 4 or 5 listed seem marginally less likely to exist, because of a slightly more complex or unusual spelling or a slightly awkward pronunciation.

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#8 2014-08-07 15:58:26

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2146

Re: sloosh

And now, the dictionaries.

On “sloosh,” OED says “compare slosh, slush. But perhaps partly a variant of sluice.” “Sluice,” as you might expect from the spelling, is Latin via French, stemming from the word for a dam.

“Slosh,” a relatively late addition to English (post 1650), is of questionable ancestry. Perhaps onomatopoetic, perhaps related to “sludge.” So our intuitions of “slosh” and “sloosh” having a common source may not be correct.

“Slush.” Even more confused parentage.

What we have, it seems, is another fuzzy spot, with “sluice,” “sloosh,” “slosh,” and “slush” in a three-century orgy of onomatopoeia and cross-fertilization, sloshing and slooshing around English vocabularies until no one knows who belongs where. Water seems to play some role, but “slice” and “slash” argue against (though don’t exclude) a role for submorphemic phonaesthesia.

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#9 2014-08-07 17:14:36

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1776
Website

Re: sloosh

The context in which I used the word was something like “I could hear it (the water) slooshing down the tube.” The tube in question was a large and relatively long drainage pipe. The meaning was something like “enact the motion/produce the sound of liquid running relatively quickly, with some side-to-side turbulence but mostly smooth forward motion, down a long enclosed passageway.” So you all pretty much got it, even contextless.
.
The notion of repetition or continuance, while not irrelevant, is not highly crucial, for me at least. I could slosh water around in a bucket for a long time without thinking it was slooshing at all. Yet a single bucketful could be slooshed down that drainpipe. I think the (near-)enclosed nature of the tube/sluice is involved, probably onomatopoeically: the cavity produces an acoustic effect like “oo” (the most cave-like of vowels) in the mouth, with its characteristic lowering of formants (f1 to f3 all are as low as or lower than for any other vowel).
.
Besides sluice , the liquid sl…sh and other low-friction sl -initial patterns, I think the oosh of whoosh and _?ooshy/goosh(y)_ ( _?shoosh?_ ), perhaps ooze and others ( mooshy? ), are all likely relevant somehow, as parts of a complex blend or at least giving some sort of positive sanction to the word.
.
Slice is less than fully relevant (or is no more so than flash or sushi); slash to my mind may argue against full morphemic status of the sl…sh pattern (it can’t even do that unanswerably), but says little about phonaesthesia. Phonaesthesia never means a sound pattern has to mean something, it just means it will find that meaning a natural fit. Other things may be natural fits too. Sl often references some kind of fluid, curving motion (whether of a liquid or of something else) involving low-friction contact with an object, and ash tends to reference violent motion or event ( crash bash smash flash gnash etc.) So slash to me can quite naturally mean a fluid curved violent cutting motion without denying any legitimacy to other sl…sh words’ habit of meaning some sort of liquidity.
.
Probably all phonaesthemes involve “centur[ies long] org[ies] of onomatopoeia and cross-fertilization, sloshing and slooshing around […] vocabularies until no one knows who belongs where.”


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#10 2014-08-07 19:01:04

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 637

Re: sloosh

DavidTuggy wrote:

I think the oosh of whoosh and _?ooshy/goosh(y)_ ( _?shoosh?_ ), perhaps ooze and others ( mooshy? ), are all likely relevant somehow, as parts of a complex blend or at least giving some sort of positive sanction to the word.

I think the phoneme “sh” itself tends toward a sort of liquidness, or at least a kind of mushiness, gooshiness, unsolidity—a lack of any hard edges, almost the opposite of the sense of hardness I get from “t”, “k”, etc. (in spite of the fact that “sh” appears in a lot of words which don’t have that sense at all). The shushing word “shh” suggests a yin quietness as opposed to a “hard” yang aggressiveness or noisiness, and, especially if uttered with force, can easily be wet, as in some ejection of spittle.

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